Wake up. Make breakfast. Clean up. Spend the day keeping the little ones alive and the house intact. Cook dinner. Clean up. Prepare the family for bed. Catch up what you couldn’t do earlier. Go to sleep. Wake up and repeat – over and over and over again. Sound familiar? Ick, even writing this out made me feel a little sad.
Clearly, it’s not hard to see how easy it is for stay-at-home parents to become depressed. I’ve been there myself! Learning from my personal experience, I found out that there are multiple things you can do to beat it! Take a look below…
- Get Adult Interaction
First and foremost, you have to talk with adults – girl time, night out with the guys, acquaintances at church, friends you can call whenever – anything! As much as you love the kids, you are an intelligent human being. Your mind and spirit can’t thrive on baby babbling and incoherent toddler conversations.
Join a group where child care is provided – church, YMCA, etc. – or one that doesn’t mind children being present. Mom-to-mom events are always promising! Trust me, you will be SO thankful to have in-depth conversations that surpass toddler-complex discussions of keeping things out of their mouth. Talk to your spouse too!
Volunteering is another terrific avenue! You will definitely get to have more adult centered discussions. Plus, community involvement will boost your sense of accomplishment.
- Take Online Classes
If possible, go back to school or start! I personally take online classes and find that they are much more flexible for my ever-changing mom-schedule. You take them when you want (just meeting a weekly deadline on average) instead of having to commit to a certain time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
You get to stay at home and not worry about having to find a babysitter or wait until the Mr. or Mrs. comes home. Best of all, you are working towards improving your skills and education – awesome! I guarantee you will feel a sense of pride for your hard work and achievements.
- Schedule for Success
Schedules are a method to the madness. Children have very positive responses to a schedule and being able to follow what you designate to do is going to make the day not feel wasted or pointless. I know, schedules are hard to keep with children.
Sleep and eating habits change. Circumstances are easily influenced. However, being a parent means having to become a guru of adaptation. If the schedule no longer works, make a new one!
- Stay-At-Home Doesn’t Mean Caged-At-Home
Dealing with the same craziness day after day might make you feel like a prisoner at home. I am here to remind you… You are not a caged animal! Get out and be active. Take the kids to a park on a nice day. Window shop on around the mall; my usual go-to. Drive to the library.
A simple walk around the block can be an effective breather. Your city’s web page can inform you of all the free events coming up in the neighborhood that the kids will enjoy. The kids may be animals (joke!) but you aren’t – don’t lock yourself away in the house!
- Focus on a Hobby
Do you like to scrapbook, knit, or sew? What about paint, draw, or build with your hands? Having a hobby that can bring you a sense of happiness and relief is a powerful weapon to combat depression. With some hobbies, you can get the kids involved if you wanted. Or, just wait for naptime! Dedicate thirty minutes or more a day to do whatever interests you.
- Write as a Freelancer
From my personal experience, I found freelance writing to be excellent for climbing over stay-at-home blues. You can join a freelance writing website and write content for clients. With my availability, I can make an average of $600 a month freelance writing while some moms I know make $1,500+.
It all depends on how much you write! You will feel productive and have fun if writing is something you enjoy doing. If money isn’t a concern and you don’t want to deal with deadlines and clients, make your own blog (I did!). It’s fun and you decide what you write when you want to.
- Get Lost in a Book
I LOVE to read! When I find a good book – especially one that is part of series – I can get lost in an imaginative world for weeks! Of course, it is not good to be constantly stuck in la la land but a little escape can be stress relieving. Take a trip to the library and find something that grabs your attention.
Read when the kids are asleep or busy doing an activity you trust to not monitor like a hawk. Wake up a little early to sneak in a chapter or two to get you ready. Or, use it as a pick-me-up before bed after a hectic day.
- Tidy Up Around the House
Don’t roll your eyes, I’m not talking about adding another chore to the list or do twice. Whenever you get a few minutes, just pick up the miscellaneous junk lying around. Why?
It’s depressing when you feel like you are living in a pig pen! Cleaning up periodically will keep your home nice and tidy while making you feel constructive!
- DIY Projects
DIY projects are fun to do and can range solely for preoccupying time or assisting with home improvement. Look on Pinterest and find a decorative element you want to add to a room in the house. Keep the kids from bringing the home down with an art craft they will sit for.
Did you want to pick up reading but don’t have a quiet spot? Turn an old storage room into a quiet room! There are lots of family-friendly DIY projects!
- Treat Yourself
Once in a while, it is perfectly acceptable to indulge in little guilty pleasures. Personally, sugary drinks and delicious sweets are my weakness – no shame! Maybe your innocent bliss is shoes or video games. Is part of your hobby collecting a little obsession of yours?
Give in a little! Accomplish weekly tasks and reward yourself (I will be stuffing my face with a cupcake). This only works though if you keep your indulgence within moderation. Don’t mistake rewards for the lack of self-control.
- Reserve Date Nights
You need to get out with your significant other, without the kids, as a couple. Date night is an effective medicine when feeling gloomy. Dress up or go as you are – just go somewhere.
Aside from rejuvenating your sanity, dates with help strengthen the bond between you and your man or lady. This is super-duper important since the life as a mom and dad is hard work and can cause strain between the two of you. Remind him or her that you still love’em!
- Throw in Wild Cards
Finally, be a little more spontaneous! Break out of zombie mode from the same daily routine by doing something out of the ordinary. Bored and want to get outside? Load the kiddos up and go to the zoo or water park! Sick of your hair looking like a mop on your head? Go get it washed and styled at a salon! Step out of the norm and remind yourself that part of parenting is relying on the wild side.
I really hope at least one of these suggestions can be useful for you! I’ve been a stay-at-home pregnant woman/mom and know that sitting in the same spot, surrounded by the same walls, all of the time can be quite depressing. Thankfully, I found a way to break of the blues and you can too!
Do you have suggestions other parents can use that wasn’t covered? Write them in the comments!